God Grants Sovereignty

The Book of Daniel presents insights into the future with an emphasis on the rise and fall of empires that will impact Israel. This includes coming times of “ tribulation ” when the people of God endure persecution and even martyrdom at the hands of despotic pagan kings. But before doing so, it declared that the downfall of the Kingdom of Judah was according to the will of Yahweh. It was the God of Israel who “gave” the Babylonian king sovereignty over the Jewish nation.

Babylonian Territory

Human society and institutions are part of Babylon’s domain, but God is summoning His children to separate from her . Scripture teaches the followers of Jesus to live as people who are distinct from the world. Not physically, but morally and spiritually separate from the “ forms ” and ideologies of the present evil age. They are to be “ in the world but not of it .” Their mission is to call other men and women to “ save themselves from this crooked generation ” before Jesus arrives in glory and judges the world.

Final Note

Jesus will return at the “ end ” of the present age with great power and glory. All the “ tribes of the Earth ” will see him when he appears on the “ clouds of Heaven ” and “ gathers his elect .” His “ arrival ” or ‘ Parousia ’ will be followed by the judgment of the ungodly, both celestial and terrestrial upheaval, the resurrection and vindication of the righteous, the New Creation, and the termination of death itself. Thus, it will be an event of GREAT FINALITY .

Literal vs Nonliteral

The Book of Revelation informs the reader from the start that it communicates visually and symbolically . Must prophecy be interpreted only or primarily in the most “literal” fashion possible unless a passage specifically indicates otherwise? Often in our minds, there is an unstated assumption that literal language is more reliable than nonliteral language, an idea that becomes especially problematic when interpreting the visions of Revelation .

Preaching Another Jesus

When certain “ super-apostles ” began to undermine his teachings and question his apostolic authority, Paul reminded believers in Corinth that the “ Serpent beguiled Eve in his craftiness .” He warned against anyone who might appear among them, “ Proclaiming another Jesus, whom we did not preach, or a different spirit, or a different Gospel .” The Assembly must not deviate from the original message taught by the Apostles.